In case you haven't noticed, the holidays are approaching faster than a speeding balloon boy. Since many of us are pinching pennies this year, I thought I would kick off my cocktailian gift guide series with a list of DIY projects for those looking to do something homemade (and inexpensive). Keep in mind, if you're doing an infusion, you'll want to get started now so those flavors can sink in! Also, be sure to use triple-sanitized, airtight bottles to contain your concoctions. I've linked to the experts for instructions on relatively easy gifts you can make with a quick trip to the supermarket and liquor store:
- No fan of Gibson martinis will turn down a jar of pickled cocktail onions. And here's a variation featuring saffron.
- Bitters may require obscure herbs and spices, but Jamie Boudreau shows us the way.
- Show your friends what real maraschino cherries are supposed to taste like, thanks to CocktailNerd.
- Have a fan of sweet drinks on your list? Offer a bottle of homemade grenadine sans high fructose corn syrup.
- Liqueurs such as limoncello and Irish cream require a couple of weeks to infuse, but the end result is worth the wait.
- Candied citrus peel makes a great garnish as well as a snack.
- A muslin bag or jar filled with mulling spices equals instant holiday charm.
- Make herbal salts for rimming cocktails (more flavors here and here). Be sure to gift them in pretty jars.